Friday, June 12, 2015

Welson breaks SEA Games record in 400m freestyle

SINGAPORE: Welson Sim strutted down to the deck, took off his jacket and splashed water on his chest.

Then it was all systems go as the fresh-faced 18-year-old put up a record-breaking performance in the 400m freestyle to claim his first SEA Games swimming gold medal at the OCBC Aquatic Centre.

Vietnam's Hoang Quy Phuoc, winner of the 200m freestyle five days ago, led in the first 50m metres but he faded away after that.

Welson took over and stayed the course over the next seven laps to post a new SEA Games record of 3:53.97.

Daniel Bego, who held the old record of 3:53.99 set in Laos in 2009, settled for fourth, behind Pang Sheng Jun of Singapore, who claimed the bronze in 3:57.60.

Jessie Lacuna of the Philippines got the silver in 3:55.34.

Welson had no time to celebrate as he had to anchor the 4x100m medley relay team, which finished fourth.

Still catching his breath later, Welson said the win had not sunk in yet.

"I came here aiming to get a gold medal and I did it. I did not expect it to be easy and surely did not expect it to be a new Games record and close to my personal best of 3:53.93," said Welson, who also bagged two silvers in the freestyle relays and a bronze in the 200m freestyle individual earlier in the week.

Johor teenager Wong Fu Kang was too slow off the blocks and it spoiled his hopes of claiming a double in the men's breaststroke.

The 16-year-old clocked 28.67 for the bronze in the 50m breaststroke, won by title holder Indra Gunawan, who posted 28.27 to give Indonesia its first swimming gold medal here.

The consolation for Fu Kang is he is the new national record holder, improving on the 28.69 set by Shaun Yap last year.

Chui Lai Kwan improved on her own national record of 26.00 set at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games last year after she finished fourth in the women's 50m freestyle in 25.82.

Christina Loh ended her miserable campaign in Singapore as she fizzled out after the half-way mark in the women's 200m breaststroke. Christina, who won a double in the 100m and 200m in Myanmar two years ago, finished fourth in 2:36.57.

She was fifth in the 100m race on Monday.

Malaysia ended the six-day swimming competition with a 3-4-4 medal tally, to emerge third overall, behind Singapore (23-12-7) and Vietnam (10-2-4).

It is the first time since Jakarta in 1997 that Malaysia’s swimmers have failed to haul in four golds. 
The Star Online

No comments:

Post a Comment